On Thursday March 25th, author Beverly Cleary died at her home in Carmel Valley, California, her publisher HarpersCollins said in a statement. She was 104 years old.
“We are saddened by the death of Beverly Cleary, one of the most popular children’s authors of all time. In retrospect, she often said, ‘I had a happy life,’ and generations of children count themselves lucky too,” said Suzanne Murphy, President and Editor of HarperCollins Children’s Books, in a press release. “Her timeless books are an affirmation of her eternal connection to the joys, challenges, and successes that are part of every childhood.”
Cleary, who won the American Library Association’s 1975 Laura Ingalls Wilder Award for “substantial and lasting contributions to children’s literature,” wrote the Henry Higgins series about a boy who grew up in Portland, Oregon. Between 1950 and 1964, Cleary published six books in the series, with the final novel, Ribsy, set from the perspective of Henry’s family dog.
However, it was Henry Higgins’ spin-off streak, the Ramona novels, that would clearly become best known. On the series, Cleary recorded the life of Ramona Quimby, a middle-class girl and Henry’s neighbor who had a variety of mounting pains between preschool and kindergarten. The series with a total of eight books began in 1955 with Beezus and Ramona and ran in 1999 with Ramona’s World.